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Understanding the Buddhist concept of 'great compassion' or 'mahakaruna'
In Buddhism, the compassion combined with wisdom is deemed as 'great compassion' or 'mahakaruna' which leads to self-realization or enlightenment.

The scriptures inform that Lord Buddha had preached that to attain enlightenment,  one must have the qualities of wisdom and compassion simultaneously. If compassion lacks wisdom, it turns into pity or sympathy.

However, compassion stands for active or wise-sympathy that is imbued with the inner feeling to bear the pain of others. In wisdom, a thing is done for the worth of it and not for any return or with selfish motive.

Wisdom stands for discernment or thought of common goodness or insightfulness of the worthiness of something. Buddhism deems compassion as spontaneous state of mind of 'empathetic altruism' or 'wise loving kindness'.

Compassion, as way to enlightenment, is to be attained through actively striving to free oneself and others from suffering.

In respect of compassion, Buddha had once said, "Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity."

Another quote of Buddha that explains the nature of compassionate person goes like this: "All tremble at violence; all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill."

In other words, to be compassionate we need to deeply and truly understand the nature of the suffering from which we wish to free ourselves and others which Buddhism calls 'wisdom' as well as experience an empathy with all sentient beings.

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